If ever there were a case of turning lemons into lemonade, the Toys“R”Us exchange program is it. Billed as the “Great Trade-In” event, the program is positioned as a child safety initiative that enables customers to bring in used products in exchange for a 25% discount on a new item.
The trade in program begins Friday, Jan. 28 and continues through Monday, Feb. 21 at Babies“R”Us and Toys“R”Us locations nationwide. Stores will accept any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs and toddler beds in exchange for a 25% discount on the purchase of a new baby item in any of these product categories from participating suppliers. Brands participating in the program include Babi Italia, Baby Cache, Baby Europa, Baby Trend, Bassett Baby Premiere, Bergamo, Britax, Carter’s, Chicco, Combi, Contours by Kolcraft, Delta, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Graco, Jeep, Little Tikes, Safety 1st, S1 by Safety 1st, Signature Series by Graco, Sorelle, Step2 and Summer Infant.
Originally launched in September 2009, the beauty of the current version of the program is that it generates customer traffic and sales during what is otherwise a seasonally slow period of time for a retailer heavily dependent on toy sales during the fourth quarter. Although, positioned as a safety initiative to remove recalled products from the marketplace, the company makes clear it is willing to accept any item in one of the listed categories for a trade even if they are not hazardous or subject to recall by a manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Toys “R” Us remains committed to staying at the forefront of issues that affect children’s safety and to helping parents and caregivers become safety advocates for their children,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO. “We are proud that the Great Trade-In event has inspired parents to remove hundreds of thousands of potentially unsafe products from the marketplace.”
Most of the products turned in since the fall 2009 launch were in extremely poor condition, according to the company. Products were missing parts, damaged or simply decades old with signs of wear and tear that would be considered non-compliant by today’s more stringent product safety standards.